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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

MARXIST   HISTORY

be in some of the Marxian principles, we may say that
such principles would be better for anybody than for
an actual Marxist, most useful of all, perhaps (or at any
rate the least harmful), for a secure Christian, proof
against the charm of materialism in itself, yet anxious
to keep in touch with the hard earth. This is the more
true in that so many of the Marxists have given evidence
of another kind of materialism, tooŚmaterialism in
what might be called the purely popular sense of the
word-^-writing history as* though not greatly interested
in the arts or the achievements of the human intellect
or tke higher features of personality. In other words,
their historical universe and the history that they actually
write show the effect of minds too intent upon the
distribution of worldly goods, so that the highest
things in civilisation are treated as though they were
mere frills and luxuries. Behind this preoccupation
with material ends it may be true that, at least on occasion,
there lies what is really a charitable intent and a desire
to secure something more like justice in the world;
but in the final result it is difficult to resist the view that
in current forms of Marxist historical writing there is
a kind of materialism liable to be corrupting to the mind.
As an effect of all this we must quarrel radically
with Marxism in the historical field itself, because, when
it presents us with historical reconstructions, it shows
itself too materialistic even in its view of the very nature
of human beings. In a sense it has done great service
by taking the mask from human nature, but here, once
again, it corrects our faults and then falls too often into
what might almost be described as the equal and opposite

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